Religions of the World
12 April 2010
THE IMPORTANCE OF TEACHING EVOLUTION
In his book Monkey Trials and Gorilla Sermons, professor and author Peter J. Bowler once wrote that "there is a widespread assumption that science and religion are at war with one another" (p 1), it is this assumption that is is alienating people from one another. Evolution has occurred and it is still happening today, it is vital to the earth and its' many ecosystems, it has nothing to do with religion and should be taught in all public school systems.
The word science is used often, however, when someone is asked to define it they rarely know what to say. Professor David Williams claims that "there are two fundamental assumptions needed for science....the first assumption is realism....the second assumption is consistency"(p 2-3). When thinking realistically we are assuming that facts are real and are not being created by our imagination. When something is consistent, it is capable of being reproduced or repeated. In science consistency refers to "the assumption that natural phenomena are laws" (p 3). Science and religion are similar in that "they both try to explain the Universe. A main difference is that scientists do not believe their explanations. Instead they use them as working approximations until a better explanation is found...Science...is not about values. Science cannot tell us if something is inherently good or bad. Science can only tell us what it is made of, how it works, how it will respond to different treatments, what effect it will have on something else, or the uses to which it can be put...Science cannot choose a correct path for us, it can only predict the consequences of following alternative paths" (4-5). Despite the fact that science and religion are searching for the same thing - the meaning of life and why things happen they way that they do, they are very different in their approach.
Evolution is a complex...